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Minerals 2019, 9(2), 100;

Origin of Smectite in Salinized Soil of Junggar Basin in Xinjiang of China

Key Laboratory of Arable Land Conservation (Middle and Lower Reaches of Yangtze River), Ministry of Agriculture, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, Hubei 430070, China
Agricultural College, Shihezi University, Shihezi, Xinjiang 832000, China
Xinjiang Academy of Agricultural Reclamation Science, Shihezi, Xinjiang 832000, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work and should be considered co-first authors.
Received: 13 December 2018 / Revised: 3 February 2019 / Accepted: 5 February 2019 / Published: 10 February 2019
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In this paper, salinized soils with different degrees of salinity are sampled in Junggar Basin of Xinjiang of China. The X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry are employed to investigate the morphology and distribution characteristics of smectite in salinized soil profiles. In the salinized soil profiles of this region, crystals of smectite are poor where lattice fringes are not parallel. In all soil layers, the content of smectite in the soil increases with the decrease in content of illite, which has demonstrated significant negative correlation (r = 0.79, n = 50, p < 0.01) between illite and smectite. This phenomenon has demonstrated that illite may be transformed into smectite in salinized soils of studied regions. In general, the transformation process of illite to smectite is affected by climate condition. The δ18O values of secondary carbonate in the 0–10 cm soil layers is higher than that in deep soil layers, which indicates that δ18O concentrates in surface soil and reflects temperature rise during soil layer formation. The δ13C values of secondary carbonate and soil organic matter in 0–10 cm soil layers are higher than that in deep soil layers. It indicates that C4 plants were the main plants, which reflects that the climate was relatively dry during the formation of the surface soil. Thus, the climate during the surface soil formation is arid, which is not conducive for leaching K+ from illite of the 0–10 cm soil to form smectite. As a result, the content of the smectite becomes lowest in the soil surface. In the relative humid condition of deep soil layers, the K+ of the illite of the soil would be relative easily leached and more smectite may be formed. Furthermore, the presence of salt in the salinized soil would promote the formation of smectite in Junggar Basin of Xinjiang. A lot of Ca2+, Na+ and Mg2+ in the soil solution of salinized soils would enter into the illite and occupy K+ positions. The studied result shows that the amount of smectite would increase with the increase of salt below 10 cm of the soil layer, where the amount of smectite would be significantly correlated with soil electrical conductivity (r = 0.64, n = 39, p < 0.01). In the Junggar Basin in Xinjiang, therefore, the salinized soil below 10 cm would have the necessary water conditions and chemical components for illite transformation to smectite. View Full-Text
Keywords: smectite; illite; transformation; salinized soil; Junggar Basin smectite; illite; transformation; salinized soil; Junggar Basin

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Xie, H.; He, S.; Huang, C.; Tan, W. Origin of Smectite in Salinized Soil of Junggar Basin in Xinjiang of China. Minerals 2019, 9, 100.

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